Root yourself with your flag

Root yourself with your flag

Present day society is facing one of the most complex and difficult scenarios of being able to accept diversity. Why am I bringing this up? In the past years, the topic of being a foreigner or cultural "outlier" in foreign soil has become a theme almost too delicate to touch. Whether you are an undocumented or documented individual living in a place other than your native country, issues arise.

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Leaving political issues aside, acceptance has shown to be a recurring issue in many communities. Often, a person who has come into another country is often forced or socially pushed to adapt to the new and leave the old behind. The problem with this is that you are not asking someone to change into a new pair of socks, you're telling them to get new feet. While this is a weird analogy, think about it. A person's life doesn't begin the moment they set foot in a new environment. Rather, it is the trajectory that led them there that shapes a person's life. When you make fun of someone for having broken English, you are highlighting their alienation from the rest, and neglecting that behind that person was once a child who cried because they thought they'd never be able to master the language. When you say someone's religious practices are ridiculous and that if they were more "cultured" they wouldn't be worshipping a cross, a Buddha, or fasting for Ramadan, take a look to see why they are so adamant about giving thanks to their deity. If you cannot understand them, try to learn from them.

Remaining rooted to your natal soil is not just for the mere purpose of honoring it, but it preserves you as a person. Personally, going away from home became a major moment for me as a Mexican. I enjoyed living among other cultures and discovering new ways of life. However, the day came when I felt I was losing my roots in trying to assimilate completely. In a sense, I felt an immense longing that not even the beautiful scenery could make up for. I began bringing in more of my home into my new one, and with it brought a cementing of my identity. Yes, I was a San Franciscan now, but at the end of the day a Mexican living in San Francisco. At first, I was reluctant to tell people I was from Mexico. The political scene had left too much dirt on my country, and I was afraid that telling people where I came from would hinder my abilities to move through the professional and social scene. Like me, I have met many people in the same situations. Where only one country is named supreme while the rest are inferior. It is because of these ideologies that many of us are not just ostracized, but worst of all made to question our roots.

Being a foreigner in another country does not make you a parasite. Having different practices, speaking more than one language, and having different musical and gastronomic tastes makes you unique. It is uniqueness that has produced the greatest minds and most influential people. It is an advantage, to an extent, knowing that the world is not comprised of a single area of land. It is almost as if you come to understand each other. Being an "outsider" in a new country establishes an unspoken language between everyone. Everyone is there for a reason, fortunately, in my case, it has been to study. But others have had to leave their places to seek a better life. When racism and superiority replace humanity, it doesn't make you look true to your country or protector of your people, it makes you look ignorant, it makes you look stupid. Getting in my face telling me and many others how we will all be wiped out and sent back home won't make you more macho, again, you look stupid. Because let me leave one thing clear, no one leaves their country and their identity for fun. The difference between traveling and migrating is that one was for pleasure and the other for necessity, evolution. For those of us who see the world from another perspective, who have come to experience different cultures and ways of life, I assert you that this racism set by leaders is not so much about speaking for the people, it is a way of displaying and playing with their power. Of course, there are people who want to keep their races "virgin" from others, and people afraid of change. However, if you come into a country other than your own, do it for your people, for your country, and for those who will come after you. Never compromise your identity, your roots, and the values your culture taught you from the moment you began to learn. Opposition is something inevitable, but persistence is very much alive regardless of politics and borders.

I'm proposing that you embrace your culture. Wherever you are. That for every remark about being Mexican, Middle Eastern, Black, Asian, and whatnot you put your flag tight around you while you work, and let it wave at the peak of success.

Cover Image Credit:

photo by JaySpeaks

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I'm An 18-Year-Old Female And I Will Never Be A Feminist

Honestly, I'd rather be caught dead than caught calling myself a modern-day feminist.

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"A man told me to have a good day...I'm triggered." How ludicrous does that sound? Tune in, because that is the extent of modern-day feminism.

Sure, I think boys are stupid and that I'm probably better than 90% of the male population, but that doesn't make me a modern-day feminist. Now I believe that woman should stand up for themselves, and Golding's quote,"I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been," is by far one of my favorite quotes... but modern-day feminism is not something I want to be associated with.

I'm all for "anything you can do I can do better," and "we can do it!" but realistically speaking, in some situations, that isn't feasible. As an 18-year-old woman who works out regularly and is stronger than the average female, I couldn't carry a 190-pound man back to a safe zone after he was shot on the front line of war even if I tried. It is not anatomically possible for a grown woman to be as strong as a fully-developed male.

Reality check: Men and women are not equal.

They are not physically equal, they are not mentally equal. Modern-day feminism is equality between the two genders, but corrupt and on steroids. I support what feminism used to be. I support women who work hard and have goals and ambition... not girls who hate men and stomp around with no shirts on to piss off the public. Feminism has developed into a polluted teaching that young men and women are plunging into.

We are built dissimilarly.

The human brain is literally an organ that is sex-oriented. There is a cognitive difference, that singlehandedly destroys gender equality.

I will not spend my time running a revolution against anyone who likes Donald Trump. I am not going to binge watch Trump's Twitter in an effort to start some leftist gob of drama. I refuse to be part of this head hunt to attack all Republicans on the newest Instagram post made about how feminism is stupid. I do not hate men, and society would crash and burn without the successful men and women who work together to create what we call the United States of America.

Why, you ask? Why are the 15-25-year-olds of our society clinging to feminism? They are hopping on the rapidly growing bandwagon where all the hipsters, feminists and Trump-haters reside. It's "cool" to hate Donald Trump. Twitter is a world of liberalism, hatred, and fake love towards all. Social media is where this generation is living — and modern-day feminism brews there.

We need to keep separation in the household within roles.

We must raise our children to do what they are best at rather than trying to do something they are incapable of just to prove an irrelevant point.

Women must stand up for what they believe in and be strong in their shoes, while not getting so caught up in what your modern-day feminist says she thinks is right.

We cannot let this briskly changing society sway us away from what is going to keep the world working precisely.

Cover Image Credit: Macey Joe Mullins

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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